Russia's top timber company heads for NYSE

Russia's top timber company Ilim Pulp on Thursday claimed victory in an ongoing ownership war, by announcing plans to consolidate its four main mills into one company and pursue a New York Stock Exchange listing, part of a five-year $1-billion investment plan. For more than a year, Ilim has been going head-to-head with Kontinental Management, partly owned by Oleg Deripaska's powerful Base Element holding and St. Petersburg banker Vladimir Kogan, in dozens of court battles and armed standoffs for control of two key assets. "I am happy to announce that our distraction with this illegal assault is now ending," the statement quoted Ilim Pulp Chairperson Zakhar Smushkin as saying.

Ilim said that it would complete the restructuring of its shares in the plants by the end of the year, and then look to float up to 15 percent of the new company on the NYSE, but gave no target date for the long-planned listing. The goals are to achieve a leap in business transparency and management efficiency, set the stage to place level-three American depositary receipts and provide a basis for future double-digit growth, the St. Petersburg Times reported.